1:00 PM ET, November 6, 2010
Jordan-Hare Stadium, AUBURN, AL
AUBURN, Ala. -- The game was easy for Cam Newton and Auburn (No. 2 BCS, No. 3 AP). If the Tigers' star quarterback faced any stress Saturday, it came after their 62-24 victory Saturday against Chattanooga.
Facing questions about an NCAA investigation into his recruitment, Newton insisted he has broken no rules.
"I haven't done anything wrong," Newton said. "I'm an Auburn athlete, and I'm still playing for Auburn. I love Auburn, and that's all I've got to say."
• Auburn piled up 628 yards of total offense against Chattanooga, the sixth-highest total in school history.
• It's the second time the Tigers have posted more than 600 yards against the Mocs (617 in 1995).
• Auburn scored 48 points in the first half, the second-most its scored in a half (the record is 49, also against Chattanooga in 1995).
• Cam Newton has scored 16 times this season, which leaves him one short of the Auburn record of 17, shared by Cadillac Williams (2003), Stephen Davis (1995), and Bo Jackson (1985)
-- ESPN Stats & Information
The Heisman Trophy contender received a warm reception from fans two days after allegations came out that a man tried to solicit payment from Mississippi State for Newton to play there.
With the off-the-field distractions as a backdrop, Newton and the Tigers (10-0) churned out 48 points and 484 yards in the first half against the Football Championship Subdivision Mocs (5-4), who have lost all 21 meetings.
Newton passed for a career-high 317 yards and four touchdowns and ran for a fifth, all in the first half. In fact, the scores came in the first 17 minutes, and he looked as if he was playing catch with his receivers at times against the overmatched Mocs. The Tigers racked up 628 yards on 54 plays.
The week hadn't been nearly so pleasant for Newton. The NCAA is reviewing his recruitment out of junior college. Former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond said he was approached by an ex-teammate -- identified by ESPN.com as Kenny Rogers -- who told him that "a specified payment would have to be made" for Newton to play for the Bulldogs.
Asked if he had ever met Rogers, he said: "Unfortunately, sir, I wish I could talk about it right now but I can't. That's how it goes."
Newton was also asked why he wasn't allowed to answer questions about the allegations.
"I'm not sure, sir. I wish I could," he said. "I don't think it's right for me to talk about it right now."
His coach, Gene Chizik, declined comment on when Auburn learned about the Mississippi State situation. The normally even-tempered Chizik bristled at the questions about Newton and whether perception of the player's character had taken a hit.
"Let me tell you something. This is a great kid," Chizik said. "I can speak intelligently on that one. This is a great kid. And you can go back and you can talk to elementary coaches, high school, this is a great kid and he's been a great kid at Auburn University every day he's been around me, this staff and his teammates.
"I don't know what's out there and I don't know what hits you're talking about, but I can assure you this: this is a phenomenal young man. Make no mistake about that."
He's a pretty good quarterback, took.
"He's probably the best player we'll ever see or play against at our level and that's why he's probably going to win the Heisman Trophy," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said.
Fans cheered Newton loudly as he ran back and forth across the student section three times after the game, high-fiving students.
He received a warm ovation when he was introduced before the game, too. He sported a grin going through Tiger Walk and then outstretched his arms as if flying as he ran onto the field with teammates about two hours before kickoff.
Tailgaters sported signs in his defense outside Jordan-Hare Stadium, like "Don't HATE on Cam" and "So what, he deserves to get paid." Newton said the support meant a lot to him.
"You feel it physically, emotionally and it does wonders in a person's mind and especially in my heart," he said.
He completed 15 of 21 passes and ran eight times for 24 yards, though he was sacked three times to end one late scoring threat before halftime.
The Tigers' 48 first-half points were one shy of the school record set 15 years ago in a 76-10 win over Chattanooga. Wes Byrum missed an extra-point attempt after the fourth TD of the opening quarter to end a streak of 102 in a row.
Auburn had eight plays of 20-plus yards in the half.
Newton's teammates had little to say about his situation, but said his demeanor hadn't changed in the previous couple of days.
"Cam is being Cam," Adams said, "and Cam is still going to be Cam."
Chattanooga racked up a few highlights. Brian Sutherland had a 98-yard kick return for a touchdown early in the second quarter.
Tennessee transfer B.J. Coleman completed 20 of 39 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown. Sutherland had 10 catches for 97 yards. Joel Bradford broke Alonzo Nix's single-season Chattanooga receiving record of 1,060 yards with a third-quarter catch.
"We were able to move the football up and down the field a little bit," Coleman said. "[Auburn's] going to have a chance to play for the national championship, which is what they've wanted for a long time. But we've just got to move on to the next one."
It was little more than a tuneup for Auburn, which finishes out the regular season against chief rivals Georgia and Alabama.
Asked if he felt differently this week, Newton shot back: "I feel 10-0. That's about it."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... When the schedule came out. Auburn rolled easily over this FCS opponent.
Gameball goes to... Cam Newton, who passed for 317 yards and scored five touchdowns.
Stat of the game... 138. In its past two games against Chattanooga, Auburn has scored 138 points.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-16||5-8|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||0-0|
|TD||14:30||Darvin Adams 30 Yd Pass From Cameron Newton (Wes Byrum Kick)||0||7|
|TD||09:33||Emory Blake 20 Yd Pass From Cameron Newton (Wes Byrum Kick)||0||14|
|TD||04:51||Cameron Newton 1 Yd Run (Wes Byrum Kick)||0||21|
|TD||03:00||Darvin Adams 39 Yd Pass From Cameron Newton (Pat Failed)||0||27|
|TD||13:48||Terrell Zachery 80 Yd Pass From Cameron Newton (Wes Byrum Kick)||0||34|
|TD||13:30||Brian Sutherland 98 Yd Kickoff Return (Jeff Veres Kick)||7||34|
|TD||13:13||Onterio McCalebb 49 Yd Run (Wes Byrum Kick)||7||41|
|TD||01:19||Garrett Hughes 23 Yd Pass From B.J. Coleman (Jeff Veres Kick)||14||41|
|TD||00:08||Michael Dyer 37 Yd Run (Wes Byrum Kick)||14||48|
|TD||10:26||Keon Williams 1 Yd Run (Jeff Veres Kick)||21||48|
|TD||08:46||Mario Fannin 13 Yd Run (Cody Parkey Kick)||21||55|
|FG||07:55||Jeff Veres 37 Yd||24||55|
|TD||07:26||Mario Fannin 42 Yd Run (Cody Parkey Kick)||24||62|